The Mingus Orchestra in the Theater
November 3 @ 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
The Charles Mingus Orchestra began alternating performances with its older sibling, the Mingus Big Band, during a 14-year tenure at New York’s Fez Under Time Cafe. In March and April of 2005, the Mingus Orchestra performed across the street from Fez for a series of extraordinary late-night performances at Joe’s Pub. More recently, Mingus Mondays celebration ran at Jazz Standard for nearly 12 years rotating the the Orchestra, the Dynasty, and the Big Band, becoming a local culture institution halted only by the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. Now the Charles Mingus Orchestra marks its triumphant return to the live stage.
Assembled in 1999 by Sue Mingus, the 10-piece Mingus Orchestra plays with the intensity of Mingus Big Band, with a focus on composition and exploration of Mingus’ more diverse works. Its distinctive sound and textures emerge from an expanded repertory and more exotic instrumentation including bassoon, bass clarinet, French horn, and guitar — instruments not heard in the Big Band, and mostly non-traditional to jazz and modern improvisational music. The other six instruments are chaired by musicians that also perform in Mingus Big Band, and include drums, bass, trombone, trumpet, alto and tenor saxophone, with additional doublings on flute, soprano and clarinet.